Thoughts on ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I didn’t really like any of the characters but I didn’t hate them. I enjoyed the descriptions of the lavish parties and decadent nights but Nick Carraway’s general day-to-day musings were somewhat less than engaging. Daisy and Tom are on the face of it the embodiment of the American dream notwithstanding the fact that they’re completely dysfunctional as a couple. The fact that they’re completely uninspiring and actually faintly boring is actually quite an achievement, when you think about it. There’s one scene where Tom goes bananas and punches a woman in the face for being a bit annoying but other than that, they’re dull. Nick has a love interest, Jordan Baker, who was quite fun at first but seemed pretty brittle as a character and sort of wafted around on the sidelines without really being developed properly. The overall effect was pretty underwhelming.
The only bit that I genuinely liked was the ending. And not in a sarcastic ‘I was only really pleased when it was over’ way. I just didn’t see it coming and yet when I’d listened to it, it seemed the only way that the story could have ended. It fit with the characters in a way that the rest of the story never seemed to and the final few scenes were actually quite moving, which was a pleasant surprise.
Overall: Ach – it was alright. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. I’m curious about the film and can’t imagine anybody better than Leonardo di Caprio to play Jay Gatsby. I’m glad I’ve ‘read’ it but I won’t exactly be recommending it particularly widely.
Date finished: 16 January 2015
Source: Borrowed from my library
Genre: Literary fiction
Pictured Edition Published: in September 2010 by Naxos Audiobooks